Outside City Limits, Inside County Lines: Rural Metro Hispanics

William A. Kandel, U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA)
John Cromartie, U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA)

Analyses of new Hispanic destinations often overlook Hispanics whose residence intersects two predominant geographic classification systems: OMB-defined metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties, and smaller Census-defined urban and rural areas. Geographically large counties with modest urban agglomerations, particularly in the Southwestern States of California and Texas, yield Hispanic populations of mixed urban character and effectively remove some truly "rural" populations from research and policy debates. We analyze the 1.2 million rural-metropolitan Hispanics, a group one quarter the size of the entire nonmetro Hispanic population. We apply GIS techniques to the smallest unit of geographic analysis, block group data, to overcome disjunctures between distinct 1990 and 2000 rural definitions. We analyze changes in spatial concentration, social and economic well being, industrial sector employment, and metro county integration, and we address how inclusion of this population within the nonmetro Hispanic population alters the profile of Hispanics living in "rural and small town" America.

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Presented in Session 45: New Patterns of Immigration and Settlement in the United States